Smoky Cape wins Parade of Sail with Kelpie named Best Dressed Crew

  • Club
  • By Damian Maclennan
  • 20 Jul 2014 15:00:00

It was a grey and misty day on water for the ten competitors in the Parade of Sail and Blessing of Fleet. This was the 20th time the event has been conducted and is just one of many key events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Chaplain Murray Lund from the Royal Australian Navy provided the official blessing before the yachts took the official salute from Commodore John Cameron, flag officers and the official party on-board the famous 110 year old 73 foot Edwardian schooner Boomerang.

The fleet of classic yachts, aged 30 years or more, then motor-sailed to Fort Denison in a gusty 10-15 knot south westerly before returning to the CYCA for judging and lunch.

Immediate Past Commodore Howard Piggott headed the flotilla of modern yachts that also took part in the Blessing of the Fleet with his Beneteau First 40 Flying Cloud. Joining the celebration was Patrice (Tony Kirby), Ariel (Ron Forster), Reve (Kevin Whelan) and the CYCA Race Committee vessels MV Offshore and Gordon Marshall

Judges Jeannette York, David Salter and Sean Langman performed a thorough inspection of vessels before announcing Ian Hansen’s Smoky Cape as the winner of the Ship Shape and Bristol fashion award with Kelpie (Dougal and Merrin Maple-Brown) second and Second Wind (Mark Hollingsworth) third.

“It’s a great event to get these grand old yachts out sailing,” Ian Hansen said. “It’s a shame about the weather but it’s been a lovely day and a privilege to win amongst such fine company.

Smoky Cape was built for Jack Earl, one of the founding fathers of the CYCA. Earl planned to re-enact the final section of his historic circumnavigation in Kathleen Gillett with Smoky Cape but this never eventuated. However subsequent owners Steve & Michaela Moss sailed the 4500 mile voyage from Tahiti to Sydney in her to fulfil Jack’s dream.

Ian & Kayelene Hansen purchased Smoky Cape from Ben Hawke, Earl’s grandson in 2012, and have lovingly restored her to Jack’s high standards. His well-used rum keg remains on board.

“We were great friends of Jack and when we saw it up for sale, my wife and I purchased it with a pledge to look after her in the manner Jack would have been happy with,” Hansen added.

It was a best dressed family affair on Kelpie with Dougal and Merrin Maple–Brown and three of their five children: Kate, Angus and Honor, all dressed in period costume befitting the age of yacht (1893).

“It’s an honour to be invited to participate in the CYCA’s Parade of Sail. We’ve owned the boat for two years and see ourselves as custodians of this beautiful vessel,” Dougal Maple-Brown said.

“I’d rather sail her than let the boat sit in a museum and our children feel the same way so hopefully they’ll be sailing her still 60 years from now.”

The CYCA is planning a Parade of Sail of historic Sydney Hobart yachts that will precede the start of the 70th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. An invitation will be extended to those yachts that have competed in previous Sydney Hobarts to participate in the Parade, which will commence at 10am on 26 December.

Participants will congregate at Fort Denison before motor-sailing a short Harbour course to be led by the historic naval vessel HMAS Advance. In cooperation with the Australian National Maritime Museum, Jack Earl’s famous gaff yawl Kathleen Gillett that competed in the inaugural Sydney Hobart race, will participate alongside Archina and Defiance, other competitors from the early years of the race. For further information please contact the CYCA Sailing Office on

By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media


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